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To share or not to share? Small businesses and the matter of disclosing salary in job ads



Every word in a job advertisement counts and influences a candidate’s decision on whether or not to apply for the role you’re promoting. Things can become complicated for businesses when they decide if or what to advertise for the job salary.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the debate so be sure to think about your decision clearly next time you recruit.

Benefits of sharing salary details
  • Attracting more talent – If you offer a competitive salary, you’re going to get more applicants. People are looking for companies that show they value their work. You’ll also increase your likelihood of getting “passive applicants” – applicants that were not necessarily looking for work but would be interested in getting a higher paying career.
  • Avoiding time wasters – You have limited time in the day and if you go through an entire interview and find a great applicant, only to find out that they are unwilling to work for your salary offering, you have wasted a great deal of time that would have been better spent trying to find an applicant that was willing to work for the salary you had available.
  • Increasing employee longevity – It’s good to be upfront with your candidates from the get-go because it instils a sense of trust and transparency. When you disclose the salary it’s more likely the candidate will also discuss how the pay structure works and if they can increase it in the future, thus they will begin planning their career with your organisation.
Benefits of omitting salary details

There are also some valid reasons for employers wanting to keeping their salary off the job advertisement. Some of the potential benefits to excluding salary range include:

  • Increase flexibility– You don’t yet know which candidates you’re going to attract. You may find you have excellent applications who warrant a higher salary than you originally planned if they have a stellar work history. Leaving yourself open to be flexible with salary ensures you can capture high quality candidates you may not have originally thought you’d be able to secure.
  • Highlight your workplace culture – If your organisation simply can’t pay a competitive salary but you know you still have a lot to offer candidates, omitting the salary of your job gives you a chance to sell your organisational culture and work benefits to candidates in an interview phase. There are many candidates, particularly millennials, who are happy to take a pay cut for an incredible workplace culture.
The bottom line

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to disclose your salary offering in a job ad should be taken on a case by case basis. Investigate what your competitors are offering, what is highlighted in other job advertisements within your industry, and talk to a recruitment specialist for guidance to make the best decision for your business.

About the author 

Saxon-Marsden-HugginsSaxon Marsden-Huggins is the managing director of Recruit Shop, which offers recruitment services to small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.